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Top of the Morning
Jerry Richardson announced that he plans to sell the Carolina Panthers at the end of the NFL season, just hours after Sports Illustrated reported that the team settled with four employees over alleged workplace misconduct by Richardson. The claims included repeated sexual harassment against female employees and that Richardson directed a racial slur toward an African-American scout.
- Why it's the BFD: Because this will be the first NFL franchise sale in memory that comes when the sport looks to be on a downswing rather than an upswing, particularly when it comes to TV ratings. The last sale to a third party came in 2014, when the Buffalo Bills were sold to Terry Pegula for $1.4 billion.
- ROI: Richardson paid $206 million for the Panthers in 1993. Forbes now estimates that it's worth around $2.3 billion. Hip-hop mogul Sean Combs already has indicated buying interest via Twitter, while local speedway owner Bruton Smith expressed interest last year.
- Bottom line comes from SI's lead: "Friday was Jeans Day, when most staffers at the Carolina Panthers team offices would wear denim to work. The female employees knew what that meant. As the team's owner, Jerry Richardson, made his rounds on the way to his spacious office, he would ask women to turn around so he could admire their backsides."
Venture Capital Deals
Private Equity Deals
• Global A&T Electronics, a Singapore-based chip assembler acquired in 2013 by Affinity Equity Partners and TPG Capital, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. http://axios.link/ig6E
- Global venture capital investment has already hit an all-time record, according to PitchBook, but deal-size count and exits are down from 2016 levels.